Sunday, 6 July 2014

Ships & Trains in Baltimore



Baltimore Ship Museum

I've been to the US a few times now, but until I went there for a conference last month, I have to admit that all I knew of Baltimore was from The Wire. Which wasn't exactly encouraging me to visit. (Equally troubling was the note in the conference program, on running routes around town, with its simple injunction: "Don't run north.")

However, there's actually a surprising amount to do, and I didn't struggle at all to fill my spare weekends. Two museums that appealed to my wanderlust and love of history were the Historic Ships in the Inner Harbor, and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum.

I went round the lighthouse and two of the four ships, of which my favourite was the submarine, USS Torsk. I've been in a submarine before, and each time, it makes me just a little bit envious of the minimalism that such confined living quarters must require of the inhabitants. Each bunk lifts up to reveal just enough storage space for neatly-rolled shirts and a few personal effects. Trying to cater for the whole crew, in a kitchen the size of a postage stamp, would also be a significant challenge.

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Going rather further backwards in time, the USS Constellation is a three-masted wooden frigate that dates to the 18th century. As well as the complex rigging, highlights included an impressive gun deck full of cannon, and sleeping accommodation that really highlighted the difference in status between officers and crew.

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

Baltimore Ship Museum

A little further out of town (it felt a lot further in the sweltering heat and high humidity of summer), the B&O Railroad Museum is a collection of trains dating from the beginning of the American railroads through to the end of the Age of Steam. The exhibits celebrate the route which used to run from Baltimore all the way to Columbus, Ohio. As well as a number of imposing engines with wheels taller than I am, highlights for me included the very old carriages styled after a horse-drawn carriage, the specialised trains used as post sorting offices and mobile laboratories, and the 'Gratitude Train' sent as a gift from France to the state of Maryland after the Second World War.

Baltimore Railroad Museum

Baltimore Railroad Museum

Baltimore Railroad Museum

Baltimore Railroad Museum

Baltimore Railroad Museum

Baltimore Railroad Museum


5 comments:

Rachel said...

They do look fascinating - transport museums always are!

Rebecca Subbiah said...

they do look interesting to visit man would be hard being in that submarine

Pauline Persing said...

I haven't been to the Railroad Museum since I was 17. Our senior class stopped there when we were on our Senior Trip to Washington, D.C. I'm sure it has changed a lot.

Slamdunk said...

Glad you found some gems there, Rachel. We have been to Baltimore a few times and the kids have had a great time. The aquarium and the Maryland Science Center were our stops. I was not familiar with the Railroad museum--I'll have to remember that for next time.

mypixieblog said...

I haven't been to Baltimore in ages... But this is a wonderful reminder for me of the many great escapes just a few hours away. I'd love to return again; I once went to see a baseball game there in the summer which was so much fun -- their baseball stadium is really a step back in time (and this from someone who really could care less about the sport). So excited to hear that you and Andy had such a fantastic trip!

Post a Comment

Thanks for dropping in! I'd love to hear what you have to say, and if you leave a URL, I'll be round to visit you soon. (Comment moderation is on because the spam has become overwhelming!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...